Bridesmaid Basics

So you’re a bridesmaid or maid of honor. Now what?

bridesmaid basics

Bridesmaid Basics

First time as a bridesmaid? Know what the job entails. (Hint: It’s not just planning parties and holding bouquets.)

Six Dirty Details Bridesmaids Need to Know

Ok, you’ve got the basics. Here are the “extra” duties you may not expect (and they may not always be so fun…). From being the designated bride buddy on bachelorette night to helping the bride pee (eek!).

Bridesmaid on a Budget

Being a bridesmaid costs money…and sometimes quite a lot of it! How to deal with the sticky subject of budget, keep costs down and still be there for your best friend. Plus, that thing you want to do but really really shouldn’t.

The Bridesmaid’s Pledge and the Bride’s Pledge

A bit of a humorous twist on your bridesmaid duties and a matching pledge for the bride. You promise to hold your tongue if you do not like the flowers, venue, and/or color scheme she picks for her wedding and she pledges to make no demands, as friends do not demand things of each other. (Plus, downloadable PDFs!)

Wedding Day Duties

Bridal shower and bachelorette down, but what exactly are you going to be doing the day of the wedding?

Everything a First-Time Bridesmaid Needs to Know

So it’s your first time as a bridesmaid? No sweat! Being a bridesmaid can be a lot of fun, a lot of work, a pain in the butt—or a little of all three. Here are the 5 things to keep in mind to set you up for bridesmaid success + resources for all your duties.

Wedding Day Packing List

A complete list of everything you’ll need on the wedding day, including some tips for making everything run smoothly.

Can I Bring a Date (and Should I)?

As a member of the wedding party, can I bring a date? And more importantly, should I? I know I’ll be with the bride for long periods of time, so what can I do to make the wedding a good experience for my date too?

10 Tips for Bridesmaid Dress Shopping

From making an appointment (yep, you need one) to being prepared for only a few sizes to be in stock to knowing how far in advance you’ll need to order, we break down your bridesmaid dress adventure.

A Guide to Bridesmaid Dress Fabrics and Finishes

Chiffon, charmeuse and shantung have you in a swirl? Navigating bridesmaid dress fabrications can seem daunting, especially your first time. What exactly is peau de soie and for god’s sake what will it feel like? This guide breaks down all the most popular bridesmaid dress fabrics, including what they look and feel like and what types of occasions they are best for.

The Ultimate Maid of Honor Speech

Breaks down the maid of honor speech to help you write the perfect toast for your best friend on her special day. We go through simple ways to start and end the speech and help with brainstorming that tricky middle section.

The Maid of Honor Speech: Do’s and Don’ts

Do bring a glass up with you (after all, you are giving a toast) but don’t use inside jokes or share stories you wouldn’t want to tell the bride’s grandmother. Important points to keep in mind while writing and delivering your speech.

Maid of Honor Speech Writing Prompts

Need some help with trying to figure out what exactly your speech should be about? Try using these questions as a jumping off point and you’ll have a heartfelt, funny speech prepped in no time.

Help! I’m a Maid of Honor Who Hates Public Speaking!

Your best friend is getting married. You’re her maid of honor. It’s all great. You’re ecstatic. Except for one little problem: You HATE public speaking. Well girl, it’s time to face your fear. Giving a toast at the reception is part of your responsibility as a maid of honor. And you CAN do it.

The Bachelorette and Bridal Shower

Before the wedding day, your bridesmaid responsibilities are going to revolve around the bridal shower and bachelorette party. Here you’ll find step-by-step planning guides, party games and lots of info and advice. For more inspiration, check out our Parties section to see beautiful events from around the world!

Bridal Shower 101

Who hosts the bridal shower and who is responsible for the cost? How much should you spend on a shower gift—and do you have to send one if you aren’t attending? Should we surprise the bride? Can the groom attend? You’ve got questions about etiquette, themes, games, food, hosting and attending a bridal shower—we’ve got answers.

33 Spectacular Bachelorette Party Ideas and 21 Spectacular Bridal Shower Themes

Need a party theme? We got you covered.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning A Bachelorette Weekend

A detailed breakdown on how to put together a getaway weekend for all her best girls, including when to start planning, how to split up expenses and lots of tips to save you stress along the way.

9 Money Saving Tips for the Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette expenses can add up quickly, so here are a few ways to keep costs down for everyone while still creating a memorable, kickass bachelorette party.

50 Simple + Stylish DIY Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Decoration Ideas

Looking for inexpensive and easy but gorgeous party decorations? You know, something that’s going to look awesome but doesn’t require power tools and an MFA? We’ve got ideas—50 of em, to be exact.

50 Food & Drink Ideas for Your Bridal Shower or Bachelorette Party

Looking for a signature drink for a bachelorette party? A perfect tea party meal? A show-stopping cake (that you actually bought at the grocery store and then just prettied up with a few quick tricks)? We’ve got it (and more).

The 25 Best Bachelorette Destinations

When it comes time to plan the bachelorette, step one is deciding where to go. Do you imagine yourself lounging on the beach? Partying in the club? Around a campfire under the stars? Consult our list of the 25 best bachelorette destinations to find the perfect fit.

The Ultimate Bachelorette Party Packing List

Pack smart and chic with this complete bachelorette party packing list (there’s even a printable PDF)!

Just Who Exactly Is Invited: Bridal Shower & Bachelorette Guest List Questions Answered

Who is invited to the bridal shower? Can I invite people who aren’t invited to the wedding? Can men attend the bridal shower? Can my mom come to the bachelorette? These and other tricky invitation questions, answered.

How to Handle a Huge Guest List

The bride wants to invite all her closest friends…but planning a dinner or getaway weekend for 20 people can be overwhelming! We came up with a few party ideas that work well for large groups and won’t cause you to have a breakdown.

Where to Shop for a Lingerie Shower (Other Than Victoria’s Secret)

Don’t get me wrong, I love Victoria’s Secret. But since it’s the go-to for so many women, there’s a good chance the bride may already have the item you purchase or another guest will pick it out too. Here, a few brands outside the norm, beyond the pink stripes, that will allow you to gift her with something completely unique and unexpected.

Do I Have to Open Gifts at My Bridal Shower?

A little advice for the bride. If you’re dreading opening your gifts in front of all your guests and the inevitable “circle of presents,” this article is for you!

Wine Basket Poem Gift Tags

A gift that keeps on giving—8 bottles of wine to uncork for 8 milestone events in her marriage. Collaborate with a few other bridesmaids to put this gift together and attach our 8 original poems (you won’t see these anywhere else) for events like her wedding night, first home or just because.

Party Games

Hilarious Personalized Mad Libs

The great news about this game is that the bride already did half the work for you, and she doesn’t even know it! To create a hilarious and personalized Mad Lib game to play at the bachelorette or bridal shower, simply head to the bride’s wedding website and transform the couple’s “About Us” into a party game.

What’s in Your Cell Phone?

A modern update on a classic shower game. Score points for sharing photos of the bride in a white dress, lose points for the ex’s still in your contacts. Two versions, one appropriate for a bridal shower and one that’s a bit more racy for the bachelorette.

Name 3

This bachelorette game is based on the board game Five Second Rule, so if you’ve ever played, you already know the basics. Each card asks you to name 3 of something in 5 seconds, so you’ll have to name things like three wedding destinations, three celebrity couples or three stripper costumes. It may seem simple, but the short time limit will lead to some pretty hilarious answers as people are forced to spit out the first thing that comes to mind.


Bar Scavenger Hunt

A fun printable lists of dares and challenges to make your night out on the town extra memorable.

Most Likely To…

A great game to play with a superclose group of friends. You’ll be surprised to find out who you really think is most likely to have kids first, get married next…or hook up with someone this weekend!

The Fiance Quiz

Send the groom-to-be a list of questions before the party, then challenge the bride “Newlywed Game” style.

5 Simple Bridal Shower Games (that don’t suck)

Let’s face it, a lot of bridal shower games are just…terrible. Here, five simple bridal shower games that won’t require hours of preparation (or toilet paper) and that may actually be funny.

Bridal Shower Scratch-Off Game

Let’s face it: You can only fill out a zany, mildly inappropriate mad lib or wrap a grown woman in toilet paper so many times before you start to feel ridiculous. But what never gets old? Winning things! For the bride who doesn’t want cheesy bridal shower games, but does want a small interactive activity at her shower, try wedding scratch-off cards!

Plus, check out our inspiration boards, favors and more…

5 thoughts on “Bridesmaid Basics

    1. Caitlin Post author

      Hi Mary,

      It depends what this tea party event is. If the tea party is a bridal shower, usually held a month or two before the wedding, then yes, that would involve gifts from all the guests, including the bridesmaids. That said, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for bridesmaids to give small gifts since they are already contributing so much to the wedding. Also, if the bride has multiple showers and you are invited to and attend all of them, you should only bring a gift to one. Bring a card to the others and write the bride a sweet note about how excited you are for her big day.

      If the tea party is not a bridal shower, but rather a luncheon the day before the wedding (this is called the bridal luncheon or bridesmaid lunch), you would not bring a gift because the lunch is actually to thank you, the bridesmaid. And gifts are not traditional at bachelorette parties, though there’s a pretty good chance this tea party is not her bachelorette.

  1. Pingback: Wedding Pearls: How to be a Bridesmaid that Rocks. « Southern New England Weddings

  2. Pingback: Wedding Pearls: How to be a Bridesmaid who Rocks. « Southern New England Weddings

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